OPEN FOR BUSINESSES: Additional restrictions that were imposed in Pennsylvania almost three weeks ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic expired Monday morning.
- Yahoo News
A fifth member of Congress has tested positive for COVID-19 following last week’s lockdown at the Capitol — a surge of cases that had been predicted as a result of the Jan. 6 occupation.
- NBC News
The Biden-Harris administration plans to release White House visitor logs once the president-elect takes office, transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said Friday.Why it matters: President Trump's White House kept visitor logs to core offices private, a move that was heavily criticized and faced legal challenges for its lack of transparency. Biden's decision is a return to the policy held during the Obama administration, which archived and released its logs, per Politico.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What she's saying: "For the sake of clarity — The Biden-Harris Administration will return to the policy of releasing White House visitor logs," Psaki tweeted. * Of note: "Also true that visitors will be limited for some time because safety during the pandemic is top priority," she added, referring to the new administration's COVID precautions.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- NBC News
As blizzard conditions impacted parts of the Midwest, two Southern California coastal locations registered a national high temperature of 94.
- The Week
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have spent the past few years living in a six bedroom, 6.5 bathroom rented home in Washington, D.C.'s exclusive Kalorama neighborhood. The family could count high-profile officials and even one former president among their neighbors — as well as their own Secret Service detail, who had to rent a nearby apartment to use the bathroom because they weren't allowed inside the Kushner-Trump home, neighbors and law enforcement sources tell The Washington Post.It's not unusual for Secret Service agents to stay out of the typically expansive homes they're guarding, instead using a garage or auxiliary building as their home base, the Post notes. But Kushner and Trump took that to an extreme, forcing the Secret Service to install a porta-potty outside their home just so they had somewhere to relieve themselves, sources said. The unsightly outdoor bathroom was taken down after neighbors complained.That's when the Kushner-Trump detail started using a bathroom in the Obama family's nearby garage. But they were kicked out when "a Secret Service supervisor from the Trump-Kushner detail left an unpleasant mess in the Obama bathroom," the Post notes. Agents then headed to to Vice President Mike Pence's home a mile away to use the toilet or, when time was short, counted on nearby restaurants and even knocked on neighbors' doors. One of those neighbors eventually ended up renting a $3,000/month basement studio to the agents, making $144,000 in taxpayer money by the time the lease expires this September.A White House spokesperson denied Trump and Kushner barred Secret Service from their home, saying it was the force's choice not to come inside — something one law enforcement officer disputed. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
- Yahoo News Video
European governments said the credibility of their COVID-19 vaccination programmes was at risk on Friday after U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced a temporary slowdown of deliveries of its vaccines. Shots developed by Pfizer with its German partner BioNTech began being delivered in the European Union at the end of December, but around nine of the 27 EU governments complained of "insufficient" doses at a meeting this week, a participant said. Pfizer initially said deliveries were proceeding on schedule, but then on Friday announced there would be a temporary impact on shipments in late January to early February caused by changes to manufacturing processes to boost output.
- Associated Press
- The Independent
Trump will take nuclear football out of DC on his final day in office - and the codes will be deactivated at the stroke of noon
Military officials will have second 45-pound briefcase ready for Joe Biden
- Architectural Digest
- The Week
A bipartisan group of three House members said Thursday that they will nominate Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman for the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded by Congress, for facing off against a mob of rioters in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege and potentially saving the Senate."He's a hero!" said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who is introducing the resolution with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). The Senate started evacuating a minute after Goodman lured a crowd of rioters away from a nearby door to the chamber, according to a video by HuffPost's Igor Bobic.Goodman served in Iraq in the Army's 101st Airborne Division, but little else is known about him and he "isn't saying anything at all publicly — not to reporters, not on social media," The Associated Press reports.But Goodman isn't the only officer who showed heroism during the mob siege, and several D.C. Metropolitan Police reinforcements involved in the battle at the West Terrace told their harrowing stories to The Washington Post. One Capitol Police officer was killed by the rioters, and nearly 60 D.C. police officers and an unknown number of Capitol Police were injured.D.C. officer Michael Fanone, 40, was filmed being bludgeoned with metal pipes and flag poles after the West Terrace mob dragged him down the entrance stairs. "We were battling 15,000 people," not 50, he told the Post. "It looked like a medieval battle scene." After the mob hit him with a stun gun, the Post adds, "Fanone suffered a mild heart attack and drifted in and out of consciousness."Officer Daniel Hodges, 32, was captured in another viral video with his head being smashed in a door. Rioters tried to gouge his eyes out before he even got to the West Terrace tunnel, he told the Post. "The zealotry of these people is absolutely unreal," he said, adding that he didn't want to draw his gun "because I knew they had guns — we had been seizing guns all day" — and "we would have lost" in a firefight.Rows of bludgeoned officers from D.C., then surrounding jurisdictions, fended off the rioters in hand-to-hand combat for hours. The West Terrace was "one of the few places where police prevented rioters from breaking through," the Post reports. "Had those rioters succeeded, authorities said, thousands more people could have poured into the Capitol, with possible catastrophic consequences." Read more war stories, and watch the disturbing videos, at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged nations around the world to maintain a unified front against Chinese detentions of foreign citizens, saying every country was vulnerable. Trudeau made his remarks as China offered more consular access to two Canadian men it arrested in December 2018 and charged with spying. Canada has repeatedly called on its partners to press Beijing for their release.
- The Telegraph
The man accused of throwing a fire extinguisher during the Washington, D.C. riots last week has been arrested. Robert Sanford, a retired Chester Fire Department firefighter, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault on a police officer, among other offenses. Attorney Enrique Latoison argues Sanford went on a free bus to the rally for Trump at the Capitol, but he did not enter the government building.
- Associated Press
Jaime Harrison - a longtime Democratic Party official and fundraising powerhouse who failed in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham - is Joe Biden’s choice to lead the national party, the president-elect announced Thursday. Harrison is expected to be elected without any significant opposition when the Democratic National Committee convenes next Thursday in a virtual session, a day after Biden is inaugurated. In addition to Harrison, Biden on Thursday announced that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas would serve the party as vice chairs.
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
A top French general in West Africa has dismissed calls for his country to engage more in Central African Republic (CAR) after rebels earlier this week attempted to take the capital Bangui, saying that the situation was different to a rebellion in 2013. The Central African army has been battling groups backed by former president Francois Bozize that are seeking to overturn a Dec. 27 vote in which President Faustin-Archange Touadera was declared victor despite fraud claims. Russia and Rwanda have sent troops to back the government.
- Associated Press
A close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Friday he’s hopeful the Biden administration will roll back a “cruel” sanctions policy and instead give room for diplomacy that could lead to the reopening of the U.S. Embassy and the release of several jailed American citizens. Jorge Rodríguez’s comments came in his first interview since taking the helm of Venezuela’s National Assembly over strong protests from the U.S., European Union and domestic opponents. Rodriguez, extending an olive branch to the incoming U.S. president, said the ruling socialist party is eager for a new start after four years of endless attacks by the Trump administration that he believes not only exacerbated suffering among Venezuelans and failed to unseat Maduro but also punished U.S. investors who historically have been important in the OPEC nation.
- The Week
Trump's team is reportedly trying to assemble a crowd for a 'major send-off' hours before Biden's inauguration
President Trump is planning to exit the White House on the morning of Jan. 20, a few hours before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in a short distance away, CNN reports. "Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off," and "as one of their final acts, Trump's team is working to organize a crowd to see him off on the morning of Biden's inauguration, when he plans to depart Washington while still president" for a flight to Palm Beach, Florida, where his term will officially end at noon.There are 20,000 National Guard troops currently deployed or en route to Washington, D.C., ahead of Biden's inauguration, because the last crowd Trump drew to the White House morphed into an insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol.Plans are still being ironed out, CNN says, but "Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One. He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden." The Bidens will wake up on Inauguration Day at nearby Blair House, CNN reports, adding that "its use was offered to them by the State Department rather than the Trumps, who refuse to make contact with the incoming president and first lady.""Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters," CNN says, but it's unclear "whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews, or his final destination, Palm Beach International Airport."Outgoing U.S. presidents almost always attend the swearing-in of their successors, Defense One notes, and "in recent decades, the outgoing president and first lady walk down the back steps of the Capitol to an awaiting helicopter, which then makes the short five-minute flight over to Joint Base Andrews in nearby Maryland. Upon arriving at Andrews, the former president and first lady are usually greeted by a military honor guard, former staffers, friends, and other well wishers." Two senior Pentagon officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that, in a break with recent tradition, no military farewell is being planned for Trump.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future